Cops get extra special treatment in Georgia: accused cops get access to the grand jury’s meeting, as well as the opportunity to address the panel without the threat of cross-examination or a rebuttal by prosecutors.
|Anthony Hill: Killed for losing his mind and walking unarmed toward a cop while naked.|
By ALAN BLINDER
A white police officer was indicted here Thursday on six counts, including felony murder, in the fatal shooting last year of an unarmed black man who was naked and described as acting in a bizarre manner at an apartment complex near Atlanta.
The indictment of Officer Robert Olsen of the DeKalb County Police Department came about two weeks after the district attorney said he would ask a grand jury to pursue criminal charges in the death of Anthony Hill, a 27-year-old Air Force veteran.
Although Mr. James had announced this month that he would seek an indictment, prosecutors faced an especially complex challenge because of the legal protections that are guaranteed to law enforcement officers in Georgia. Those safeguards, which are among the country’s most extensive, give accused officers access to the grand jury’s meeting, as well as the opportunity to address the panel without the threat of cross-examination or a rebuttal by prosecutors.
Officer Olsen, who could not be reached for comment, spoke to the grand jury. He has not publicly discussed the shooting on March 9, seven months to the day after a police killing in Ferguson, Mo., that spurred large protests and prompted a continuing national debate about race and law enforcement practices.
In an email Thursday night, Officer Olsen’s lawyer, Don Samuel, said he was “disappointed in the decision of the grand jury.”